Time To End The Damage Of LGBT+ Stigma – Largest Ever Coalition Of LGBT+ & Faith Groups Supports Global Campaign
As many today flocked to the RDS for the days events at World Meeting Of Families (WMoF), Equal Futures 2018 held a press conference across the road where LGBT+ Catholics from around the world shared their stories of faith and being LGBT+ in 2018.
Equal Futures is a campaign to raise awareness of the damage done to children and young people when they’re made to feel being LGBT+ would be a misfortune or disappointment.
“With the World Meeting of Families taking place in Dublin this week and the Synod on Young People in October, there is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the damage that is done to children and young people and of the need to stop it”, said Tiernan Brady who was chairing todays event.
During the event, young LGBT+ speakers from around the world shared their lived experiences and why this campaign matters.
Recent graduate Emily spoke about being her unique point of view, which intertwines faith, gender and sexuality.
“I come from a very traditional Catholic family, my Dad is a deacon in the Catholic Church. My family is a little bit more unique in that my older sister is transgender and I myself identify as bisexual and pansexual.
“Although my sister has faced far more stress and hatred in her life, she plays a vital role in my story because family is the most important thing to me and the passion that I have for this comes from the realisation that religion, this faith that I love so much tends to take place in this structure where the leaders and the community tend to shame my sister’s very being and my ability to love and my ability to just be who I am honestly and truly.”
Xorje who is originally from the Texas/Mexican border who now lived in New York City. In my small community of 25,000, we have 6 churches. Horhay was very involved in the church when he was growing up.
“It was towards the end of me being an altar server that I started to realise that I was different to everybody else. Even then I never really saw being gay as a sin even though all of these outside voices were telling me it was a sin, but I never saw it that way.
“The only thing that made things difficult was trying to navigate my place with my family because they were so involved with the Church.
“It took me leaving my hometown, going to Austin where I went to college and going to Church by myself. I had to be comfortable in my skin and comfortable with my relationship with god because I do see my sexuality and my spiritual identity as a very personal thing. I don’t need anyone to tell me how to pray, I don’t need anyone to tell me how to have a relationship with God, and I most certainly don’t need anyone to tell me how to be gay.
“Something that I have also had to realise and it’s a phrase that’s been used against LGBT+ people this entire time from hardline Catholics is that ‘being gay is a choice’ and I agree with that to an extent in that I know that the choice to be gay was gods and not mine and I have been comfortable with that my entire life, now it’s just a case of making sure everybody else is comfortable with that too.”
LGBT+ Catholics Urged To Come Out And Share Their Truth
Member of “We Are Church” and journalist Ursula Halligan also spoke at today’s event. She reflected on her own coming out at the age of 54 and said that telling our stories is one of the most powerful and helpful things we can do.
“For almost 40 years, I kept a secret bottled up inside of me. For all those years I had repressed an essential part of my humanity, my instinct to love.
“I was truly astonished by the impact telling my story had, I couldn’t believe that by simply telling the truth, that I had been able to touch and help so many people.
“Now looking back I read that moment, telling the truth about my life as the single most important thing I have ever done. The truth changes live for the better and this is why I urge all LGBTI Catholics to log in to the Equal Futures website and to tell their Bishops and delegates in the diocese how Catholic teaching on sexuality has injured your life.”
“Let them know what it feels like to grow up being told you are objectively disordered and that your love is intrinsically evil. How else will they know if we don’t tell them.”
She also appealed to LGBT+ priests and nuns who are living double or conflicted lives because of official church policy.
“You don’t have to live this way. I appeal to you to find the courage to go to the equalfuture website and share your stories too. Not only will you set yourselves free, you will empower all gay people to pursue freedom and that’s how powerful our stories are.”
The LGBT+ community and their allies are being asked to submit their stories of growing up in a world where Catholicism teaches such damaging LGBT+ doctrine.
These stories will then be shared with Bishops and delegates who will be making decisions at the upcoming “once in a lifetime Synod” where decisions will be made on the future of the Catholic Church.
Visit https://equalfuture2018.com to submit your story.
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